Driver reportedly charged with three previous DUIs before fatal - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Driver reportedly charged with three previous DUIs before fatal weekend crash

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Despite three previous DUIs, police say a man drank eight beers and got behind the wheel again over the weekend. This time, the results were fatal. 

Lamberto Mendoza-Valle, 38, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of murder and DUI after the fatal crash on Taylor Blvd. near Oakwood around 4:30 a.m. Sunday. Police say he told officers he didn't even realize Orlando Jimenez Lozano, the 41-year-old passenger who died in his backseat, was there.

When a witness pulled over to help, the driver and passenger in the pick up truck left the scene. Shortly after, the witness told police Mendoza-Valle's silver Nissan Altima came speeding down the road, smashing into the two other cars.

Investigators say the first crash was a hit-and-run. There is no word on any charges filed in that situation. Lozano was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:18 a.m. from multiple blunt force injuries.

Police say Mendoza-Valle admitted to drinking more than eight beers at a friend's house before the crash. Hospital records show his blood-alcohol level was .214 at the time of the crash -- more than threetimes the legal limit. It's not the first time he has driven drunk, according to authorities. Prosecutors say this marks Mendoza-Valle's fourth DUI, with the three previous incidents occurring in 2002, July 2006 and October 2011.

Mendoza-Valle was also charged for driving without a license or insurance. He is currently being held on $100,000 full-cash bond. 

According to jail records, an immigration detainer has been issued for Mendoza, meaning Metro Corrections must notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement if he posts bond.

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